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Monday, March 31, 2008

Rotini with Broccoli and Shrimp

This is my own twist to Giada's recipe of Farfalle with Broccoli. I used whole grain instead of regular pasta to make it healthier; Rotini (spiral pasta) instead of Farfalle (bowtie pasta); and added some shrimps for more flavor and texture .

A grain is considered whole when all three parts – bran, germ and endosperm – are present. Most people know that fruits and vegetables contain beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants, but many do not realize that whole grains are often an even better source of these key nutrients. In fact whole grains are a good source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber, as well as other valuable antioxidants not found in some fruits and vegetables. Most of the antioxidants and vitamins are found in the germ and the bran of a grain.


1 pound whole grain Rotini pasta
24 pcs medium shrimps, shells removed
2 heads broccoli, trimmed to florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
8-10 anchovy fillets, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally.

2. After 5 minutes, add the broccoli florets to the pasta and stir and cook for another 4 minutes. Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes and cook for 3 minutes.

4. Add the shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes.

5. Add the broccoli, pasta, salt and pepper and toss. Add some of the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to make a light sauce.

6. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Close Encounter With Giada

Italian food is one of my favorite dishes and I'm an avid fan of Everyday Italian hosted by Giada de Laurentiis at Food TV Network. I'd say that my cooking is mostly inspired by her recipes which are very simple and easy to make. I don't like very fussy and complicated dishes, I always go for the more convenient and practical ways to prepare meals for my family.

In 2006 when I learned that she's coming to MA to do book signing, I was very eager to go to see her face to face. I went with my girlfriend Lea to The Mall at Chestnut Hill
in Sur La Table where she did the book signing. A lot of cooking aficionados showed up and we waited in line for hours to have our cookbooks signed by Giada. She's very pretty and petite and very nice, she answered questions from the fans. I remembered I just tried to cook a fish dish of hers where she used Tilapia, but I told her I used Salmon instead, she beamed and told me "there you go, it's good with other fish too."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Influences

I'm not a born cook, I didn't even learn how to cook till I got married. So why on earth did I create a food blog you might ask? Well, nothing is impossible to people who put their hearts into anything. I was a wreck in the kitchen the first time I tried to seriously cook. My first Pancit dish (Noodle with Sauteed Vegetables) was overcooked with soggy noodles without my husband noticing it. He probably thought that's how Pancit was supposed to look like, lol. He loved it anyway so I just shut up my mouth and didn't crack anymore. I wonder if he was just being nice to me, lol.

Six years later, with so much telephone bills ran up calling my mom for tips and procedures; too many cookbooks bought and episodes of Food TV Network watched and online recipes printed; and of course a lot of
determination and enthusiasm to learn; I would say that I'm now an official cook in the kitchen.

In my opinion cooking is an art and a never ending quest for perfection. One simple dish may be turned into an exquisite entree. I love to try dishes I see on my favorite food shows. I put my own twist and make them my own. I love to entertain and make my friends guinea pigs of the recipes I tried.

I hope to entertain you with the food that I will serve on My Kitchen Table, make yourself at home.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Kitchen Under Construction

Bear with me, my kitchen is still under construction.